More on Schon

I’m not really good with all of the philosophy stuff, but I’m trying for Schon.

Schon brings up a lot of really good, albeit really obvious, points in the beginning of this article. For example, his “knowing-in-action” really just seems like an attempt to apply a term to innate abilities. For example, he brought up the facial recognition idea. You know a person’s face, but are often unable to prescribe it certain features, such as if you were trying to describe Person A to Person B. There is a whole group of neurons in your brain that all they do is facial recognition. You can have damage in your brain that will result in an inability to recognize faces. There is a great article on it called “The Man Who Though His Wife Was a Hat.” I just don’t really see the point, I guess, in trying to define, or quantify, this “knowing-in-action.”

What I did like about the Schon article was his attempt to try to apply all of his terms to a spectrum of careers: medicine, law, music, art, business. His examples got pretty redundant after awhile, but I appreciated his attempt. Probably the most striking lines of the article for me was on page 34:

“Within this framework, there is little room for professional artistry, except as a matter of style grafted onto technical expertise.

For all the use and application Schon did of his concepts to other non-humanities related professions, I was a little surprised by this. It makes sense, I guess, for the matter in which he explained it. However, I think this quote really begs the question of what does he define as “artistry?” Maybe it really is just for art, music, and theater professions? Can there be no expertise in these professions?

All in all, I didn’t really see the point of this article or what meaning I was supposed to glean from the lofty rhetoric used by Schon to describe mundane daily actions, especially in the context of writing. It sort of read like a psychology textbook where in which a lot of technical names are assigned to everyday occurrences.

One thought to “More on Schon”

  1. Oh, I once read a book called “The Man Who Thought His Wife Was a Hat”. It was fascinating, but also came a little bit short in translating ideas for popular consumption.

Leave a Reply